What to do in Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexico, a place full of colors, great food, indiscerptible scenarios, and friendly people. Everyone greets a foreigner with a smile or a Hola not matter whether you are from another country or planet. Whenever I feel homesick I travel to Oaxaca, as they have trees, animals and dishes similar to those of my planet.

If you want to know my own personal story at Oaxaca city, you can click here, or if you just need some suggestions for your trip, I´ll give you some tips on this article on what not to miss on your next visit to this incredible city.

Santo Domingo Church

What to do in Oaxaca, Mexico

I stayed in a hostel called Azul Cielo. I liked the service and the place very much. The staff was really friendly and the guests were sociable with each other, every night everyone hangs out at the bar upstairs so you could meet people from all over the planet. I love when that happens. Another cool thing about the place is that for 15-20 USD you could get guided tours, including transportation. These are the ones you must not miss (on my very own personal alien opinion):

Hierve el Agua

Its literal translation means “the water boils” and it´s because minerals had hardened and resembled a waterfall. There are only two petrified waterfalls in this planet so, this is a most! There are also natural mineral pools where Humans dip, swim and relax while enjoying the view of mountains everywhere you look around.

Take your time to visit this place or if you go on a guided tour try to use your bathing suit underneath your clothes. To get to Hierve el agua you need to descend a hill and it might take some time to get there, so take comfortable shoes to walk down and then up the hill.

It´s completely worth it, believe me, and once you are there you would love to stay more to contemplate this natural beauty.

Mezcaleria

Human holding a Mezcal shot

In the picture above you can read in Spanish: “If you want to be strong and healthy, drink Worm Mezcal” (left), “Mezcal is the only drink you don´t drink but kiss it instead” (right). The Worm Mezcal is literally a liquor that has a worm inside the bottle. This worm grows and lives in the agave plants, from where the Mezcal and Tequila come from. But if you don´t like bugs in your drinks you could have a plain one and it´s still very good.

Mezcal is the traditional drink in Oaxaca, it´s made out of different flavors, so that´s the cool thing about going to a Mezcaleria, you can try them all! there are samples of any flavors you wish for: chocolate, fruits, etc. Salud!

Tule tree

Close to Oaxaca city, there´s a little town called Santa Maria del Tule where one of the biggest trees on the Planet lives. El Tule is a swamp plant that used to cover the whole land before the town was founded. I like that it looks similar to plants in my planet.

On the other hand, the gigantic tree is an Ahuehuete which trunk has an approximate circumference of 42 m, and a diameter of 14 m.

There is also a little pretty church in front of the tree and many stores selling regional ice creams and candies.

To witness an antique living been is quite an experience.

Monte Alban

Ruins at Monte Alban used to be the Zapotec Capital and it´s one of the largest Mesoamerican cities. Gran Plaza is what you can see in this picture:

There´s is much to see in Monte Alban, like a Ball game (Juego de Pelota) court, a building that tracks a calendar, a palace, an observatory, and carved stones.

Mercados (markets)

There are two most important markets in Oaxaca: Mercado 20 de Noviembre and Mercado de Benito Juarez. These two have handcrafts and food that perfectly enclose Oaxaca culture

Alebrijes are guardian animals or spirits you could take as a souvenir. I loved this one, I think it could be my guardian, it looks like my favorite animal from my planet. 

Once you are in the markets, try everything! I heard a Human said that coming to Oaxaca takes the obligation of every Human to eat mole in all of its different colors (they are 7, but the most famous are: black, brown, yellow and red). I did and I can´t regret it!

Food in this country, but especially in this city is so good! Actually, UNESCO declared the food from Oaxaca as World Heritage due to its ancestral history.

Besides Mole, you should also try Chapulines (grasshoppers), tamales, quesillo (cheese), tlayudas (tortilla with beans, meat, cheese and salsa), chocolate and coffee.

Church of Santo Domingo

Oaxaca city is full of Catholic churches, you must visit a few of them, don´t leave out of your checklist the Cathedral of Oaxaca or the Ex-Convento de Cuilapam de Guerrero. My personal favorite is a church that it´s interior is fully covered on gold. Its name is Church of Santo Domingo.

This church is a must in any Human´s visit to the city, the building has almost half a century so it´s full of history and interesting sights. 

Whenever you decide to visit this city try to do it on 5 days at least. The food, people and places to see are completely worth it.

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